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Every year, on March 19th, we celebrate the Feast of Saint Joseph. This year, the celebration has an even more important significance. Pope Francis has called for a time to celebrate the family, so he decided to officially name this year the Amoris Laetitia Family Year. Starting on March 19, 2021, and continuing through the World Meeting of Families in Rome on June 26, 2022, we commemorate the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation The Joy of Love (Amoris Laetitia).
We have compiled a number of resources for Honoring Saint Joseph and Celebrating the Family for you to share with the children under your care and their families.
“Let us entrust this journey with the families of the whole world to the Holy Family of Nazareth, in particular to Saint Joseph, attentive spouse and father.” –Pope Francis, Angelus Message, December 27, 2020
Every week in the GROW newsletter, you will find a helpful tip for teaching your Gospel Weeklies lesson, a reflection on the Sunday Gospel, and information about our online resources and seasonal activities. Here are tips for teaching the Gospel Weeklies lessons this week:
Lesson Theme: God is always with me.
In this lesson, the children will explore their feelings of being afraid and will learn that God is always with us, even when we are scared. For the Gospel Warm-Up activity, punch holes in advance on sheets of black construction paper. You will need one for each child along with paper clips to secure the sheet to the cover of Seeds. We suggest that you prepare photocopies of the Prayer to My Guardian Angel to send home with the children.
Lesson Theme: We can be children of the light.
In this lesson, the children learn that being children of the light means doing good things and saying yes to God. They are old enough to be aware of those times they make unloving choices and say no to God. They will learn a Prayer of Sorrow to pray when they need to tell Jesus they are sorry. Help them relate the word sorrow with one they already know: sorry.
For the “Who needs forgiveness?” (pages 3–4) activity, you will need scissors and a small box or basket.
Lesson Theme: Jesus invites us to live in the light.
Note that the “Memory Verse” (page 4) will be cut into as the children complete their Lenten Calendar activities in the week ahead. In order for the children to still have those words to memorize, you will direct them to underline these words of Jesus in the Gospel on page 3. You might wish to ask if they have seen signs at sport events that read “John 3:16.” Explain that this is the Bible passage these signs refer to. The people holding the signs are sharing the Good News that’s summarized in this important Bible passage.
You will need lined paper and pencils for the children to use to write their own examinations of conscience based on the Ten Commandments (see the What the Church Believes and Teaches section in the Teaching Guide on page TG4-7). Encourage them to use their examination of conscience every night before going to sleep, pray an Act of Contrition, and try to do better the next day.
Lesson Theme: Jesus is light to the world.
On the cover of the student lessons, the Sunday (top right) should read: 4th Sunday of Lent/Laetare Sunday. It currently reads 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time/Laetare Sunday.
For the “God so loved the world . . .” activity on page 1, note that the colored lines in the text box match the colored words along the right side of the cover. After doing the activity in class, give each of the children a paper clip so they can clip the cutout words together to continue the activity at home.
Lesson Theme: Jesus is light to the world.
For the cover activity, the young people will be presented with some situations in which they will evaluate their willingness to take some social risks and to assess where they feel comfortable speaking out or trying something new and where they prefer to be more cautious. Make sure you let them know that these are personal choices and should not be labeled as “good” or “bad.” Respect those who wish to keep their responses private.
DON’T FORGET to check out our Unit 4 Overview Webinars. You can find them in English and in Spanish here. Unit 4 Overview Webinars will be posted soon.
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